Millet_Sorghum ChinaFor the last 10 years, I have focused on the issue of biodiversity in agriculture. This concerns the use, conservation and development of plant genetic diversity in farming. My activities have included the design of simple monitoring systems, village land-use planning, the establishment of community gene banks for local varieties and other ways to conserve them “in situ”, and the promotion of farmer-based plant breeding and seed production. Legal issues related to the propagation and dissemination of seed (seed legislation, patents, plant variety protection and open-source concepts) are increasing in importance.

  • Management of the GTZ Sector Project “People, Food and Biodiversity” in Eschborn (2009–10)

  • Advising the German federal ministries of development cooperation and of food, agriculture and consumer protection to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the International Seed Treaty (ITPGRFA)

  • Consulting and technical support for German Development Cooperation projects (GIZ)

  • Testing and evaluation of projects to promote agricultural biodiversity (e.g., Navdanya, India (2003), Ubinig, Bangladesh (2004), Ministry of Agriculture, China (2004), Unnayan Dhara, Bangladesh (2007).

  • Education and training of professionals in rural development

  • Support and studies on intellectual property rights for plant genetic resources.

Selected publications on agricultural biodiversity

  • Kotschi, J. and G. Kaiser (2012) Open-Source für Saatgut – ein Diskussionspapier (Open source for seeds: A discussion paper). AGRECOL. Göttingen.

  • Kotschi, J. & A. von Lossau (2011) Agrobiodiversity: The key to food security and adaptation to climate change. GIZ, August 2011. Eschborn.

  • Kotschi, J. (2010) Reconciling agriculture with biodiversity and innovations in plant breeding. GAIA 19(1):20–4.

  • Kotschi, J. (2008) Transgenic crops and their impact on biodiversity. GAIA 17(1):36–41.